Fintech Trends Survey: Japanese Consumers to Consider Switching to Bank, Financial App that Gives Insight into their Carbon Footprint

New Zealand-headquartered green fintech firm Cogo conducted a survey to uncover Japanese customer attitudes towards banks and financial apps “helping them drive sustainable lifestyles.”

Administered in collaboration with strategic design and sustainability consultancy Fabric, the survey “engaged 1,966 participants who use banking and financial apps across demographics and regions that reflect the characteristics of the Japanese population.”

The research “uncovered a sense of collective responsibility in Japanese society for addressing climate and environmental challenges.”

This reportedly “included almost 40% of respondents who indicated they would find information about their carbon footprint useful.”

Upon seeing an example of a financial app showing carbon emissions associated with the user’s spending habits, 45% of participants “believed this information would motivate them to reduce their environmental impact.”

In addition, almost 30% would consider “switching banks or financial apps to access information about the environmental impact of their spending.”

Julie Lindenberg, APAC CEO for Cogo, said:

“Financial institutions are uniquely positioned to help their customers turn around the climate crisis. Their reach means millions of people could gain access to carbon footprint management features through a provider that they already have day-to-day interactions with.”

Approximately 41% of consumers “expect their banks and card providers to do more to reduce their climate and environmental impact.”

Green financial products such as rewards, “offers and cards encouraging sustainable behaviours could serve as a differentiator for banks and credit card issuers in Japan by elevating customer experience and values alignment.”

There are good indications “that participants are open to making substantial changes to their lifestyles to reduce their climate and environmental impact, with 46% having already made some form of change.”

This is a clear opportunity for financial institutions “to provide consumers with carbon tracking tools to support this transition.”

According to Lindenberg:

“We are only at the beginning of the rise of conscious consumerism in Japan. As consumer focus shifts, financial institutions that offer the solutions that consumers want will be able to attract and retain new customers in a saturated market.”

Commonwealth Bank, Natwest and most recently, Westpac have partnered with Cogo “to capitalise on the full potential of transactional data to generate personalized insights into consumers’ finances and the carbon footprint associated with their spending.”

Going forward, Cogo plans “to collaborate with Japanese financial institutions to encourage consumers to adopt environmentally-friendly behaviours in Japan as well.”

As noted in the update, Cogo is “a carbon footprint management product that helps individuals and businesses to measure, understand and reduce their impact on the climate.”

Cogo does this through partnerships “with some of the world’s largest banks to integrate leading carbon-tracking functionality into their banking apps.”

Cogo uses various models “to provide accurate ways to measure carbon emissions specific to local markets and behavioral science techniques to nudge customers to make more sustainable choices.”

Cogo currently works “with 12 banks, with plans to double this in the next twelve months.”

Founded in 2016, Cogo now “employs over 100 people, operates in 12 countries across Europe and Australasia (including the UK, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Singapore).”

Cogo has “raised over US$12.5million in funding since launch.”


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